Amongst a growing silence which had slowly convinced me of my mind turning deaf, there stood a meal on a blood stained floor. A meal which was illuminated from the only window in the room, a faint sparkle gently warming the rotting cuisine. My hunger ached in soft melodies, restrained with haunting chills from the metal chains wrapped around my bare skin. These chains stood as the only factor parting the distance between myself and my expanding desire to feast on the delicacy. So I stared into the meal and thought. I thought about how much I needed the meal, how much I wanted the meal, and how the aroma of the meal floated upstream into my nostrils only to tease my hunger.
As time went on so did the silence. I needed to break it.
“I love you.”
The silence shot back. No response.
“I truly do.”
Mute air entered my ear then took its' leave. Not a sound.
“I deserve you.”
This time there was an audible response. Not from the meal, but from the sound of a whip lashing against my back. I grunted and the attack continued in a fluctuating pattern. My once cold back was now blushing with gashes seeping shades of scarlet. Regardless of the suffering, I cringed in my attempt to keep a locked gaze at the meal. I required the meal to make it through the pain.
“I promise not to leave behind crumbs.”
The lashing was harder now.
“I can handle you. I swear!”
In that moment, the tune of creaking quenched my distress as the tight grips of metal around my arms and ankles were released. No longer did I feel pinned to a state of collective desires and dreams, but rather I felt that I had the heart of a lion. The whip lashes, too, had halted in rhythm. I took a deep breath and pursued the meal coated in sunlight.
I was limping towards it while my emotions were set ablaze. It was in that moment, those quick few moments, that I went from being a chained man with fantasies of arousing my hunger, to a man pouncing his goal. This was the time to feast. The moment where this meal, as if it was a gentle candle, was to be treated with aggression. I was going to set this candle ablaze, make it plunge the world into a shivering flame that could not be stopped.
I lunged onto the meal alas, looking into the eyes of a decaying carcass. The eyes under lids desaturated of color stared back at me stripped of emotion, almost as if it was looking right through me. This was my meal. It was my one and only. My love. My head dived into the carved opening in the chest, and I felt thick fluids paint my face a terrifying red. I then opened my mouth, wriggled my tongue to find the fleshiest piece of meat I could find, and munched on it. My teeth drilled into cushioned tenderness. It felt squishy when chewing, but I forced my body to withstand past the icky wonders of the human anatomy and simply swallow regardless of any gagging. I munched and munched until my teeth grew weary and my lungs exhausted. Snapping my head out of the body, I began to take inhales, sharp in nature because of the blood shooting up my nose with each gasp. My damp hair leaked droplets of blood into my eyes, blurring my vision. Rubbing my eyes while swaying the flow of my hair made for a steadying of sight. With this, I unwillingly gave attention to what stood against the wall in front of me. It was a shelf which held the most interesting of objects. The shelf boasted heads. Yes, human heads. Pale in skin yet deep in soul. The spirit came from their eyes which had a certain character in them, the type that had a story untold. A story that I wished to know yet had no way of hearing.
The chance of such a sight being in that very room triggered my urge to inspect more. I turned around and what I saw was a woman stripped of clothes, whip in one hand and knife in the other. She had silky long white hair, and strangely enough, I fell in love with her by just a second. It was not the type of love that I held for my meal once before. This love had been a tree grown where no tree had ever thrived before. It took the form of a fragment beyond my imagination, wanting to clash within the rest of me. So, I allowed it to.
She walked toward me, placed her frail hand onto my ear, and leaned forward to speak.
“Do you wish to find out if your love is truly everlasting?”
“I wish for that. Yes.”
Her soft words made me weep. I cried tears of anticipation, for I would know in time if my love was truly true. With that exchange of words, my head was decapitated. Her knife cut through me with a glorious sense of compassion. Pain had taught me love now. Though, I had become confused for a moment. Or, it is better said that a trace of confusion lingers within me even now. My eyesight maintains function, as does the eagerness within my ears to hear.
I was carried to the shelf of heads, still dripping blood. She placed me down and kissed me on the forehead. Before she returned to the other end of the room, the last words I had heard from her were spoken.
“From this moment, until the end.”
So here I am now. A mere head on a shelf of fellow heads, bathing in the clockwork of love.